SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PVI-160
This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.
Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the serious injuries a 23-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn June 25, 2022, at 7:55 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On June 25, 2022, the Complainant was operating a vehicle erratically around Wasaga Beach. The Complainant’s vehicle [now known to be a black Honda] was involved in three motor vehicle collisions, at which he failed to remain. The Complainant’s Honda was intercepted by police officers, after which, following a short pursuit, he collided with a vehicle driven by a civilian. The civilian driver did not suffer a serious injury. The police officers had deployed a spike-belt, but the Complainant drove around it prior to the final collision. The Complainant ran from his vehicle and was subsequently arrested. He was taken to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital after he complained of pain, and was suspected of having sustained a fractured hip. The scene was not held.
At 8:32 p.m., the OPP contacted the SIU and confirmed that the Complainant’s injuries included a fractured pelvis, fractured hip, and internal bleeding. He was to be transported St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) in Toronto.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 06/25/2022 at 8:49 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/25/2022 at 9:41 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
No SIU forensic investigators were assigned as confirmation of the injury was reported after the scene was cleared.
The Complainant was interviewed when he was a patient at SMH. A medical release was sent to the Complainant, but he did not return it.
Eight civilian witnesses were interviewed.
One subject official and four witness officials were designated; each of the witness officials was interviewed.
GPS information for the subject official’s police vehicle was obtained as was a copy of the communications audio. The OPP also disclosed a copy of a civilian dash-cam, which a police officer had recorded with his cellular telephone as it would otherwise have been overwritten.
A town surveillance video was obtained.
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):23-year-old male; interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 27, 2022.
Civilian Witnesses (CW) CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between June 26 and 29, 2022.
Subject Official (SO) SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO) WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between June 30, 2022, and July 13, 2022.
The Scene The scene was located on the south side of Mosley Street in the area of 1724 Mosley Street, Wasaga Beach.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence Communications audio and scene photographs were obtained from the OPP.
The OPP also provided the SIU two surveillance videos from the Town of Wasaga Beach from street cameras at the intersection of Mosley Street and River Road.
CW #1 had a dash-cam, which recorded the collision. As the video would have been overwritten, an officer recorded the video with his cellular telephone. That recording was subsequently provided to the SIU.
Global Positioning System (GPS) DataThe OPP provided GPS data from three police vehicles involved in the events surrounding the Complainant on June 25, 2022. Included was data from an OPP vehicle driven by the SO. The following is a summary of the information derived from the data.
At 3:51:07 p.m., the SO’s police vehicle was stationary on Mosley Street, east of 18th Street North.
At 3:51:42 p.m., the SO’s police vehicle was westbound on Dunkerron Avenue, a continuation of Mosley Street. The SO’s speeds were between about 93 and 108 km/h as he travelled westbound.
At 3:52:00 p.m., the SO’s police vehicle turned right onto what was again called Mosley Street. The vehicle continued westbound past 24th Street North and then turned right at the traffic light-controlled intersection where River Road West became Mosley Street. The SO’s speeds were in the 90 km/h range on straight road, and 40 and 50 km/h range through gentle curves. The speed limit was 50 km/h.
Between about 3:52:09 p.m. and 3:53:19 p.m., the SO’s police vehicle travelled westbound on Mosley Street and attained a maximum recorded speed of 136 km/h as it approached 32nd Street North. It continued westbound towards Sunnidale Road North with a speed of 120 km/h and then 119 km/h, 114 km/h, and 90 km/h through the traffic light-controlled intersection of Sunnidale Road North.
Between about 3:53:57 p.m. and 3:54:13 p.m., the SO’s police vehicle was westbound on Mosley Street at a speed in the 60 km/h range.
The SO’s police vehicle was stationary until the end of the provided data.
The SO drove a total of about 4.2 kilometres from the point at which he was stationary prior to the interaction to the collision scene. He drove this distance in about three minutes and 12 seconds, which calculated to an average speed of about 80 km/h.
Communications RecordingsThe following is a summary of the information derived from the computer-assisted dispatch (CAD) and police communications recordings.
On June 25, 2022, at about 4:01 p.m., an unknown person contacted police and reported a motor vehicle collision in front 1801 Mosley Street.
At about 4:13 p.m., CW #8 called 911 and reported a ‘fail to remain’ collision, which involved a black Honda Accord bearing an Ontario licence number. The Honda was last seen westbound on Mosley Street towards the beach, with damage to the front end. The driver was described as a man wearing a blue face mask [now known to be the Complainant].
At about 4:19 p.m., a woman reported that police officers were in pursuit of the Complainant’s black Honda, which was travelling at a high rate of speed westbound on Mosley Street from Sunnidale Road. The Honda turned south down a side street near the Recplex, located at 1724 Mosley Street, at 42nd Street. The caller had been stopped at the red light at Sunnidale facing eastbound when the Honda approached the intersection westbound on Mosley Street. The Honda moved into the eastbound lane of traffic to pass the vehicles stopped at the red light at Sunnidale Road. The Honda travelled through the intersection at a high rate of speed before moving back into the westbound lanes. The caller watched the Honda, in her side-view mirror, make a left turn. She observed and heard several police vehicles with lights and sirens activated arrive at the Sunnidale Road and Mosley Street intersection. The police vehicles then continued westbound on Mosley Street.
At about 3:51 p.m., the SO asked if any police officer was in the area of 1190 Mosley Street. He reported that a black Honda with no front plate was travelling at a high rate of speed on Mosley Street, from 22nd Street. WO #4 responded that he was in the area.
At about 3:53 p.m., the SO requested that WO #4 set up a roadblock. The dispatcher advised that there had been a ‘fail to remain’ collision a short time earlier, which involved a black Honda Accord.
WO #4 advised that the Honda had travelled around him westbound on Mosley Street.
The SO gave a description, and the sound of a siren could be heard during his broadcast. The SO advised that the Honda had gone through the lights at Sunnidale Road. The SO then reported a collision at Puccini Drive and Mosley Street, and that the vehicle was off in the bush. He gave a description of the driver as being a man with short dark hair and dark clothing wearing a blue mask over his face.
WO #1 advised he had the Complainant in custody. He was at Blue Jay Place (extension of 42nd Street) and Meadowlark Boulevard, and he requested that EMS attend.
Dash-cam FootageThe video captured a view of eastbound traffic on Mosley Street. The camera captured the moment the Complainant’s Honda struck an eastbound grey Jeep Cherokee in a head-on collision in the eastbound passing lane on Mosley Street. The Honda spun around and went into the bush on the south side of the street. The Jeep Cherokee stopped at an angle across the passing lane and faced towards the north side of Mosley Street. Debris from the collision scattered on the roadway. There were no emergency lights from a police vehicle and a police vehicle was never seen.
Wasaga Street Surveillance Camera FootageVideo 1 started at 3:52 p.m., June 25, 2022, and was about a minute long. The camera faced towards the northwest of the intersection of Mosley Street and River Road West, and captured the whole intersection. There was no audio.
At 30 seconds into the video, the traffic lights for the east and westbound traffic on Mosley Street and River Road West were red. River Road West started at the intersection and ran east. Mosley Street ran north-south to the intersection at River Road West and west at the intersection. A black Honda appeared to speed southbound on Mosley Street towards the intersection of River Road West and Mosley Street. At the intersection, the Honda turned sharply to the right, into the westbound lanes on Mosley Street, continuing westbound before it disappeared from view.
At 36 seconds into the video, WO #4’s marked OPP police vehicle travelled southbound on Mosley Street towards the intersection of Mosley Street and River Road West. At the intersection, WO #4 turned right and travelled westbound on Mosley Street in the direction of the Complainant’s vehicle. WO #4 did not have his emergency lights activated.
At 40 seconds into the video, a southbound marked OPP sedan operated by the SO appeared on Mosley Street with its emergency lights activated. At the intersection, the SO turned right to proceed westbound on Mosley Street and followed WO #4’s police vehicle at a high rate of speed.
Video 2 started at 3:52 p.m., June 25, 2022, and was about two minutes long. The camera faced westward on Mosley Street, from the intersection of River Road and Mosley Street, and a plaza entrance on the south side. The video did not have audio.
At 36 seconds into the video, the Complainant was seen as he sped westbound in the passing lane of Mosley Street before he disappeared.
At 44 seconds into the video, WO #4’s police vehicle was seen in the curb lane as it travelled westbound on Mosley Street in the direction of the Complainant.
At 48 seconds into the video, the SO’s police vehicle with its emergency lights activated was seen as it sped westbound in the curb lane. The SO’s police vehicle then entered into the passing lane to pass a vehicle on Mosley Street. It followed closely behind WO #4’s police vehicle and the two police vehicles continued westbound in the direction of the Complainant before they disappeared from view.
At 75 seconds into the video, an unmarked OPP Dodge Charger with its emergency lights activated appeared and sped westbound in the passing lane of Mosley Street.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU obtained the following materials from the OPP between June 27, 2022, and August 5, 2022:
- Arrest Report;
- CAD Report;
- Criminal Record;
- Civilian dash-cam video;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Reports;
- General Occurrence Report;
- GPS data for involved cruisers;
- Notes- WO #2;
- Notes- WO #3;
- Notes- WO #1;
- Notes- WO #4;
- Communications recordings;
- Policy - Arrest/Detention;
- Policy - Suspect Apprehension Pursuit;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Scene Photos;
- Witness Statement- CW #4;
- Witness Statement- CW #7;
- Witness Statement- CW #2;
- Witness Statement- Witness 1;
- Witness Statement- Witness 2;
- Witness Statement- Witness 3;
- Witness Statement- Witness 4;
- Witness Statement- CW #3;
- Surveillance video;
- Witnesses, Involved Officers, and Task List; and
- Ontario Provincial Police Academy - Student Transcript – the SO.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
- Simcoe County Paramedic Service Ambulance Call Report.
In the afternoon of June 25, 2022, the Complainant was operating a Honda Accord in Wasaga Beach when he rear-ended another vehicle in the area of the Main Street bridge between River Road East and Mosley Street. Deciding he would flee the scene of the collision, the Complainant accelerated westbound on Mosley Street and soon came across a police cruiser. Concerned the police cruiser was after him, the Complainant continued at speed westward on the roadway.
The cruiser was being operated by the SO. At the sight of the speeding Honda, the officer activated his emergency equipment and began to pursue the vehicle. The SO contacted WO #4, who was west of his location, and asked him to block the roadway with his vehicle.
WO #4, in the area of the Mosley Street and 24th Street, maneuvered his vehicle across the east and westbound lanes of Mosley Street to set up a roadblock. Within moments, he observed the Honda travelling west towards his location. The Honda entered into the eastbound lane, overtook several westbound vehicles that had come to a stop at the roadblock, and then, arriving at WO #4’s cruiser, entered onto the grounds of a car wash on the south side of the road to get past the officer. WO #4, his emergency equipment activated, took up the chase and was now the lead officer in pursuit, but only for a short period – he was soon passed by the SO.
The Complainant continued apace along Mosley Street. At the intersection of the road with Sunnidale Road North, he entered into the eastbound lanes to overtake westbound traffic that had stopped for a red light, ran the red light, and re-entered the westbound lanes travelling at over 100 km/h. The Complainant would travel an additional several hundred metres before again re-entering the eastbound lanes to overtake westbound traffic. In the area of 1724 Mosely Street, having avoided a number of head-on collisions, the Complainant collided with an eastbound vehicle.
Though the Complainant was seriously injured in the collision, suffering multiple fractures and internal bleeding, he managed to exit his wrecked Honda, which had come to a stop in a ditch south of the roadway, and flee into the bush.
Some 30 seconds to a minute after the collision, the SO and WO #4 arrived at the scene. They were followed by additional first responders.
The Complainant was located shortly after the collision at the intersection of 42nd Street and Meadowlark Boulevard. He was arrested without incident, and transported to hospital where his injuries were diagnosed and treated.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous operation
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. As an offence of penal negligence, a simple want of care will not suffice to give rise to liability. Rather, the offence is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have observed in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was a want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his vehicle, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the collision. In my view, there was not.
The evidence establishes that the SO was well back, at least 30 seconds back, of the Complainant when the final collision occurred. In the circumstances, other than being the initial impetus for the Complainant’s flight on Mosley Street, there is no suggestion that the SO caused or contributed to the collision in any manner that could attract criminal sanction. The Complainant had ample opportunity to desist from his reckless course and chose not to. The responsibility for that decision lies solely with him.
The issue turns to whether the SO, as part of the context within which the collision occurred, drove dangerously in his own right. There are certainly aspects of the officer’s conduct that attract legitimate scrutiny - his speed, for one. The GPS data from his cruiser indicates that the officer drove in excess of the speed limit for much of the pursuit. While some of that was to be expected if the officer was going to catch up and attempt to stop the speeding Honda, the officer was bound at all times to govern his speed in the interests of public safety. With this balancing act in mind, one asks whether it was going too far when the officer reached speeds well above 100 km/h, at one point clocking 136 km/h. The evidence further suggests that the SO did not inform the communications centre that he was in pursuit or broadcast his speeds and other conditions, which he was bound to do by way of police policy. That requirement is in place to allow dispassionate, senior police personnel the opportunity of making informed decisions with respect to the continuation of a pursuit.
That being said, I am satisfied that the SO’s indiscretions, if they be such, did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. For starters, I am satisfied that the officer was within his rights in deciding to initiate a pursuit. Shortly after the Honda passed him on Mosley Street, he would have received word via radio that a vehicle – likely, the Honda – had just been involved in a collision at which he had failed to remain – a potential criminal offence. The officer’s speeds, though at times very high, would not appear to have directly imperiled third-party traffic; there was no evidence, for example, of other motorists having had to take evasive action to avoid the officer’s cruiser. In fact, just the opposite, the evidence indicates that the SO, whatever his speed was, came to stop at a red light at Sunnidale Road North before resuming pursuit of the Honda. The evidence also indicates that the SO had his emergency lights on for most if not the entirety of the pursuit, giving traffic around him notice of the pursuit and his speeds. Lastly, and to reiterate, the SO was never so close to the Honda as there to be any suggestion that he unduly pushed the Complainant in any way. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the officer’s driving amounted to a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care.
For the foregoing reasons, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the SO.
Date: October 21, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.